There is something I want to get off my chest for some time now – and I don’t think anyone’s actually posted about this – it’s the reactive responses of the bullied person. Over the last few years, there has been a rise in awareness on bullying at school across Australia. It is on the news at least on a weekly basis, if not more.
What has really set me off is the way they make out how “victimised” the bullied person is. Not too long ago, they were advertising “Say No To Bullying Day” on 97.3fm – I listen to the radio on the way to and from work, and every time I hop in the car, I have to listen to the same advert over and over – with one lady claiming:
“I was constantly bullied at school. I have grown up being afraid to go anywhere or do anything. I am so scared I don’t even have a driver’s licence. I am also unemployed because of it.”
Firstly, I want to make it clear that I do not like bullying, nor do I condone it. I am well aware of the fact that bullying and victimisation can have detrimental effects on people – especially school aged children. It causes a whole host of problems, including self-esteem issues, inadequacy, lower grades, etc – the list goes on.
don’t understand can’t wrap my head around, is the progression of these problems to adulthood. It is okay to cry out for help and raise awareness for children whom are defenceless against bullies. However, by adulthood, you should have the means and knowledge to stand up for yourself and protect yourself. That’s right – YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND YOURSELF PEOPLE. The Anti-discrimination Act is always there to protect you lawfully from victimisation as well, if you need it.
We are who we choose to be – if you choose to constantly feel inadequate and have zero self esteem and respect for yourself, then you have no one else to blame but yourself. There should be a statute of limitations on blaming the bully – You cannot keep using them as a shield. This means you cannot keep blaming the one who said you were overweight 10 years ago. We all have choices – you can choose to listen to them or ignore them (I would recommend doing the latter, as they are not even worth your time. 10 years from now, you probably won’t even recognise each other on the street). But if you do listen to them and feel inadequate about it, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT – workout, exercise, eat healthier. It won’t only shut them up, but it will also make you healthier, fitter, happier.
Don’t complain on radio that you were bullied so extensively you have a social phobia, panic disorder or GAD. I am sorry, but I do not have sympathy for those who do not help themselves. I fail to understand how you can be bullied to the point of “afraid to go outside,” “can’t get a driver’s licence,” or “can’t get a job”. As I mentioned, by adulthood, you should have the means to defend yourself. There are laws that protect you from workplace bullying so don’t use that as an excuse for being unemployed. People will not bully you in public either – they don’t even know you. Has anyone ever had strangers constantly walk up to them on the street bullying them? No. Everyone goes their own way – bullying shouldn’t be used as an excuse to not step foot outside your door (say it with me, sunlight!). I don’t even know what not getting a driver’s licence is all about – it has nothing to do with bullying.
Before anyone says, “You have to be in their shoes to understand their predicament.” Let me tell you, yes, I was a victimised and bullied at school. I first came to Australia when I was 3 and spoke no English. Children can be mean and cruel – racism wasn’t uncommon back then either. Being Asian and not knowing English, I was mercilessly teased on a daily basis by one particular girl in my grade (once one starts, the others tend to join in too. I don’t even remember her name, except she had no front teeth and long brown hair). What did I eventually do? I ignored her and avoided her. Our family eventually moved up to Queensland due to my dad’s work, and again, not a lot of Asians up in North Queensland, and especially not in small towns. It happened all over again. What did I do this time? I stood up for myself. And you can too.
Bullying can happen in numerous ways – verbally, socially and physically. Most children don’t know right from wrong – they usually only bully when they’re surrounded by peers – it makes them feel superior, popular, increases their self-esteem. I believe that every person has been bullied at least once in their life – and that every person has bullied someone else as well – especially verbal bullying. Verbal bullying includes:
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Threatening to cause harm
I am pretty certain we have all, at some stage, said any of the above to another person – maybe not the “threatening to cause harm”, but you get the general idea. My point is, children are children – they should experience life – mothers should stop “babying” their child – it doesn’t do them any good. If it gets to the point where drastic changes in attitude is noticed, then yes, measures need to be done. And as I mentioned numerous times, by adulthood, we are thinking beings, fully capable of making our own rational choices and decisions. We have a choice – it is not a secret. What you do with that choice is up to you.
People, these problems can easily be solved. We should spend more of our time raising awareness of poverty, disease and famine in third world countries, not these first world problems.
The verbal bullying information above was from here
You can find the Anti-Discrimination Act for QLD here (need to run a search though)